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Hinged Door Introduction

Hinged Door Introduction

1 Dec 2023
Hinged Door Introduction
  1. What Is a Hinged Shower Door?

In order to choose wisely between a hinged shower door and a sliding one, it’s important to understand the products referred to by these terms. A hinged shower door is primarily composed of glass, and tempered or laminated glass is always used because annealed glass is too fragile for this application. The sheet of glass is attached to an adjacent surface with hinges so that it can swing out into the bathroom or both inward and outward. Two hinge options are offered:

  • Wall mounted – These hinges attach the glass door to an adjoining wall or panel of glass. You see wall mounted hinges on front doors and most interior doors, so this is probably the style you’re most familiar with.
  • Pivot – This type is comprised of two hinges equidistant from the door’s edge attaching its top and bottom to the surfaces above and below it. The hinges create a point from which the door pivots open and shut.

Q: What are the benefits of wall mounted hinges?

A: Wall mounted hinges offer a classic appearance that fits well in modern, traditional, transitional, and historic bathrooms. They also allow the swinging shower door to seal up when closed and don’t require a header for installation.

Q: Are there any disadvantages to wall mounted hinges for a swinging shower door?

A: Wall mounted hinges are not as “low profile” as pivot hinges. This is only a drawback if you’re looking to minimize metal components on your shower door. You will also need to keep the glass clean around the hinges and keep soap scum or mineral deposits from building up there.


Q: Are there any negatives to choosing pivot hinges?

A: Pivot hinges do not allow the door to seal up when closed. Also, since the upper hinge needs to be attached to something above it, a header may need to be installed on your shower.


2. On What Type Of Glass Enclosures Are Hinged Doors Used?

Hinged shower doors (also known as swinging shower doors) are used on a wide variety of shower enclosures.

  • Single door – Regardless of the size of the actual stall, some showers have a relatively small entrance. A single hinged shower door is a wonderful alternative to a shower curtain and will really dress up the shower entrance.
  • French doors – If the stall has a wider entrance or if you’re looking to enclose a tub/shower combo, French doors are a beautiful option. A double set of hinged doors adds a touch of glamour to any space.
  • In-line door and panel – An alternate possibility is a hinged door installed beside a piece of fixed glass. If more glass is needed to totally enclose the tub or shower stall, 90 degree return panels can also be installed.
  • Corner showers – Corner showers are the most space friendly option for many homeowners looking to create a shower stall that’s independent of the bathtub. Hinged doors are used on both right-angle and neo-angle corner showers.
  • Custom enclosures – On a custom enclosure, the client chooses the stall dimensions, the number of fixed panels, the angles at which panels meet adjoining surfaces, the number of door panels, and so forth. Hinged doors are often part of custom glass shower designs.

3. What Are The Framing Options For Hinged Doors?

Shower enclosures with hinged doors can be frameless, semi-frameless, or framed. Let’s take a closer look at the characteristics of each:

Frameless – These enclosures are built from unframed sheets of glass. Thick glass is used to give the structure strength and stability. Sometimes a metal header needs to be installed due to the bathroom’s structure or to make your desired design possible.

Semi-frameless – On a semi-frameless enclosure the door panels are frameless, and aluminum framing surrounds the enclosure as a whole.

Framed – Aluminum framing encases all glass edges on a framed unit, and thinner glass can safely be used with this type of construction.

A hinged door shower enclosure can typically be frameless, semi-frameless, or framed. Frameless design is very popular because it does a great job keeping the shower tile visible. These enclosures also offer a modern, flowing look that keeps the focus on the glass. Finally, the simplicity and minimalism of a frameless shower enclosure makes cleaning easier. Semi-frameless enclosures give you a somewhat frameless look but at a lower cost. (This is because slightly thinner glass can be used on an enclosure that includes some framing.) Traditional framed doors are less popular but stand as an appealing option if you’re renovating on a budget.

However, a new type of framed swinging shower door has entered the market and now rivals the popularity of frameless designs. Known as Crittall style shower doors, these have clear glass, a frame of black U-channel, and a black grid on the glass. The shower tile is visible through the clear glass though somewhat blocked by the gridwork. However, this black framing is often paired with white or other light colored tile for a pleasant contrast.

4. What Are The Pros And Cons Of Hinged Shower Doors?


Like all glass shower options, hinged shower doors provide a high-end alternative to a curtain. Understanding their specific pros and cons helps you make an informed purchase.

PRO: Swinging shower doors are a bit dressier than sliding doors and bring an upscale ambiance to your space.

PRO: Swinging shower doors can be customized through your choice of hinge type, glass style, handle style, hardware finish, and so on.

PRO: Hinged doors operate in a straightforward manner with few “moving parts,” which can minimize the need for repairs down the road.

CON: Building codes state that shower doors must be able to open out into the bathroom (even they’re hinged so that they can also swing into the stall). Therefore, sufficient empty space must be present around the shower entrance.